Fighting A Losing Battle: Midwives Experiences of Workplace Stress

Sadie Geraghty, Craig Speelman, Sara Bayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The aim of this study was to understand the nature of midwives’ work-related stress and the implications, if any, for midwives overall emotional well-being and career decisions.

Methods: A classic Glaserian grounded theory methodology was used, which included 21 in-depth individual face-to-face interviews with registered midwives.

Findings: The core category that emerged from the data labelled ‘Fighting a Losing Battle’ consisted of the causal, contextual and conditional factors that together form the core problem faced by the midwives. Participants depicted contemporary midwifery practice environments as ‘war like’ and described levels of work-related stress that, for many, were unbearable and led them to conclude that the job was not worth it.

Conclusion: These findings will be of interest to midwife educators, maternity service managers and leaders, and health service policy makers. Urgent action is required to remediate midwives’ workplace stress if related midwifery workforce attrition is to be prevented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e297-e306
Number of pages10
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number3
Early online date3 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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